Are you a wrestler? Perhaps you know a wrestler. The invigorating sport is something many look up to, aspiring to compete in the MMA or the college wrestling ring. Athletes who train for this sport, have to take care of their body, by maintaining a certain weight and keeping themselves healthy. Part of that is their skin and muscle health. The ring and the locker room are prone to harbor harmful bacteria, and many are unaware how dangerous wrestling is for skin and muscle health. Here are the three most common infections wrestlers need to worry about.

-Ringworm is a fungal infection on the surface of the skin and unlike the name suggests, is not caused by a worm. It appears on the skin as scaley rash that can look similar to round, red patches. Physicians refer to ringworm as tinea. For example tine pedis (“athlete’s foot”) or tinea cruris (“jock itch”) are products of ring worm.

The infection is contagious and can be spread through contact, making it highly   contractible in the ring or person to person when the bacteria is exposed. The bacteria can be treated with topical and oral solutions based upon its location, severity, and physician preference.

-Staph Infection is known in the medical industry as MRSA. The group of infectious bacteria can cause a multitude of disease including boils, cellulitis, toxic shock syndrome, and food poisoning. Localized staph infections are common among wrestlers and athletes alike. Areas of the skin affected are typically swollen and painful and can produce an abscess or collection of pus.

The bacteria is typically treated with antibiotics, topical and/or oral.

-Impetigo is a highly contagious skin condition caused by strains of staph and strep bacteria. The bacterial infection that form small blisters that can burst leaving behind a dark or honey-colored crust.

Scarring is rare, and the infection can be treated with prescription topical and/or oral antibiotics.

The National Wrestling Coaches Association believes 70% of infections are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. The association announced new infection prevention partner in October of 2016 to further their mission to protect athletes and improve sports medicine practices. Read more about the partnership here: